I've been pretty vague about my post-graduation plans recently, but I can't hold it in any longer! I'm going to CHINA! It seems random and out there, but one thing you should know about me is that I jump at pretty much any opportunity to travel, especially if it's to a place I haven't seen before. Mostly, though, I just really love fortune cookies. And sticky rice, mmmh.
The whole I'm-going-to-move-to-China thing happened in a very serendipitous way. I went to a career fair on campus a few months ago, and after wandering around aimlessly for over an hour BF finally asked me if I was ready to go. There weren't any jobs I was super interested in (mostly sales, yuck), but I figured I should walk around for a bit more since I bought a $200 suit for the event. Sidenote, screw professional clothing for being so expensive, I might as well wear a friggin' formal gown to work for that price. Well, right when we were leaving I caught a glance of a poster out of the corner of my eye advertising a graduate school program in China. Perfect, right? So I talked to the woman for a few minutes, got some information on the school and the internship in China, then left feeling like my two hundred bucks had been well spent.
Ever since I found out about the program (by chance, I might add), my life has been throwing me signs about China left and right. I know the Olympics are in Beijing this year so the Chinese government is really trying to hype tourism in China, but that still does not explain all the strange coincidences that have been occurring. First, a few days following the career fair I was at the gym and I put the TV on the travel channel and Anthony Bourdain was in Hong Kong. I never watch the travel channel at the gym...but for some reason I was drawn to it that day. Then, on the plane ride to Utah in April the cover article for the United Airlines magazine was on Shanghai. I always fall right asleep on planes (thank you, Xanax) but for some reason I stayed up and had forgotten a book, so I was forced to read the provided reading material. Then, when I went to Maryland my ticket sleeve had an advertisement for non-stop flights to Beijing and Shanghai (none of my three travel partners had the same advertisement, their ticket sleeves just showed a picture of a plane). And who did I sit next to on the flight? A Chinese guy! He was literally writing in his journal in Chinese script. So weird.
As far as details on the program, I will be receiving a Master of Arts in International Studies with a concentration in International Education. School begins on the American campus this summer, where I will be taking research classes as well as Chinese language courses (I do not know any Chinese, yet). I leave for a city in China sometime in August--I find out exactly where May 15th--then I will be teaching English starting in September. In addition to teaching English, I will be taking on-line courses through the university here in California and working on my thesis. The internship is a year long, so I will be back in September 2009 just in time to attend my cousin's wedding!
Oh, and look what I found at Cost Plus World Market the other day:
A Chinese take-out dog bowl and fortune cookie chew toy! It took all the will power in the world not to buy it then and there, but my dog already has a bowl and a whole drawer of chew toys and I need to be saving for my trip. Is it horrible that the person I'm going to miss the most while I'm in China is my dog?